By all accounts, a week spent hosting SNL is a mad scramble, and in the fog of it, hosts are often asked to stumble to another studio in 30 Rock to promote their hosting stint on Late Night With Seth Meyers or The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. These appearances are usually charming enough, with Meyers and Fallon able to draw from their own SNL tenures to engineer some banter around shared references. Given their demanding schedules that week, though, it’s understandable when the upcoming SNL hosts defer to Meyers or Fallon to do the heavy lifting. By contrast, Steve Martin and Martin Short, hosts of SNL’s upcoming December 10 episode, appeared on The Tonight Show on December 8 and they did not let Fallon carry so much as a throw pillow. “We are very busy, but we always have time to come down here and do five to seven minutes with you and possibly ruin our careers,” joked Martin.
Martin and Short came to the couch with bits, a seemingly inexhaustible source of them, and trotted them out one after the other, all but reducing Fallon — or “James Kanye Fallon,” as Short calls him — to a passenger on his own show. It started out with some light roasting: They had jokes about everything from Fallon’s comedy (“Like crypto: I don’t understand it, but I admire it”) to his appearance (“I like the beard. I miss the cold sore”) to his politics (“Tell everyone what you were telling us about why it’s finally the right time to suspend the Constitution”). They then turned their sights on themselves. “When I grow a beard, I look like the guy in the western that goes, “Dagnabbit!” said Martin. “When he pulls out his banjo, people in China beg for lockdowns,” Short said of Martin. They also got in the Christmas spirit with some jokes about the holidays. “My favorite part of decorating the tree is when, at the end, I just put a little tiny star on top,” Martin said, turning to Short and patting his shoulder. “Thank you for being up there.” They also pulled from the headlines to get in some jokes about current affairs. “We’re like the co-anchors on Good Morning America without the office sex,” Martin said before getting up to take a bow. All told, it felt like a perfect sequel to Short’s August appearance on The Tonight Show where he told 21 very good jokes.
Noting that the pair have a lot going on between hosting SNL, their show Only Murders in the Building, being on tour together, and the mile-a-minute pace at which they spoke during their entire appearance on his show, Fallon commented that Martin and Short appear to be busier than ever. “Yes,” Short said, closing the interview with one last joke: “We’re busier than Nick Cannon’s child-support lawyer.”